All posts by Jean Alfonso

How To Treat Blood Poisoning

Overview

Blood poisoning not only is a fatal infection but also its a life- threatening medical condition that requires fast treatment. Generally, people or medical professionals use the name blood poisoning to describe Sepsis or septicemia which is an infection of blood by either bacteremia or septicemia.

Blood poisoning not only is a fatal infection but also its life- threatening medical condition
Blood poisoning not only is a fatal infection but also its life- threatening medical condition

Prevention, fast diagnosis, and treatment are essential since statistics show that Sepsis kills and disables millions of people.

 

What Causes Blood Poisoning?

Blood poisoning is a result of positive identification of bacteria in your blood stream that may have come in from another part of your body that is infected. When bacteria find their way into the bloodstream, the condition is referred to as septicemia. For you to develop sepsis you have to have one of these infections first.

  • Lung infection mostly pneumonia
  • Abdomen infection
  • Any infection involving your urinary tract
  • Gallbladder and bile ducts infections may also be factors
  • Infection of the bone
  • Cardiovascular infections
  • Infections that may occur after surgery
  • Skin infections

Brain and other nervous system infections may contribute to

 

People at risk

No one is immune from sepsis since everyone is vulnerable to minor infection. Nevertheless, some individuals are more susceptible than others like.

  • Medical conditions potentially increase your chances of developing sepsis since they weaken your immune system
  • Medical treatment such as chemotherapy may also make you vulnerable to sepsis since it weakens your immune system
  • The age of an individual may also contribute in contraction of sepsis
  • Pregnant women are at a higher risk
  • Long term health ailments such as high blood pressure, diabetes
  • Just underwent a surgical procedure

 

Identifying the Indicators of Blood Poisoning

The indicators of blood poisoning are:

  • Frequent chills
  • Moderate grade and high-grade fever
  • Quick inhalation and exhalation
  • The heart rate speeds are above normal
  • Skin seems white and pale
  • Blood poisoning may be on another advanced level and here are symptoms of life-threatening blood poisoning stage.
  • Misunderstanding or misperception
  • Septic Shock
  • Red spots on the skin or clammy skin
  • Excreting little or no urine at all
  • Recurring diarrhea
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Inflamed skin with red spots
  • If not treated the patient may have irreversible complications or worse death.

 

Make a diagnosis of Blood Poisoning

Due to the nature of symptoms, it’s a bit complex to identify blood poisoning since the symptoms are similar to other health conditions. Professional medical doctors will perform these tests to determine whether you have an infection in your blood stream

For the purpose of total and comprehensive diagnosis the medical expert may demand an imaging scan which will involve an X-ray scan, CT scan, Ultrasound and also an MRI scan may be necessary.

Treatment for Blood Poisoning

Treatment varies based on the amount of blood poisoning in the body. Quick treatment is recommended to avoid repercussions resulting from the spread of the diseases in the body ranging from life-threatening situations such as death and also long-term disorders such as amputation and severe trauma.

Is there any way to prevent blood poisoning?

The following precautionary measures will assist you to prevent blood poisoning since prevention is the better strategy than curing a disease.

  • When you suspect you are unwell just visit the doctor without self-diagnosing or buying over the counter drugs
  • Keep away from sick people or use protective gear when handling their wounds. Quit smoking and use of illegal drugs since it weakness your overall immune system.
  • Your diet should be balanced.
  • Don’t just eat and sleep; you also need to exercise
  • Keeping your hands clean is essential

 

Related Video On Blood Poisoning 

Treating Broken Ribs

Overview

Blows or a fall to the chest is a primary cause of fractured or bruised ribs – severe coughing in rare cases can also be a cause. Bruised ribs are usually painful, but they should improve after three to six weeks. When you injure your ribs, it does not take away the ability to do your daily routine at home. Ribs heal naturally unlike other bones that when broken, they must be supported.

Blows or a fall to the chest is a primary cause of fractured or bruised ribs
Blows or a fall to the chest is a primary cause of fractured or bruised ribs

Bruised and broken ribs receive similar treatment; an X-ray is important to determine the nature and the state of the injury. A doctor should advise you if the condition does not improve, worsen or if you were involved in a fatal accident.

Injured Ribs

It’s painful breathing-in if you suffer from bruised or broken ribs, however, taking shallow breaths feels much better. However, breathing, as usual, is crucial to clear the lungs of mucus to prevent chest infections. You may also experience some tenderness and swelling in your chest accompanied by bruises on the skin.

Take Care of the Injury at Home

There is no harm when it comes to taking care of a broken or bruised rib at home. Have some pain relievers –because the injury will hurt every time you inhale – as the injury continues to heal. If you refrain from breathing or coughing, this only poses the risk of chest infections.

It is advisable to take some over-the-counter pain meds such as ibuprofen and paracetamol following the dosage recommendation as indicated on the packet. Note: children under the age of sixteen years should not take aspirin.
Pressing an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel will help to reduce pain and swelling.

Resting is essential; you should, therefore, take some time off work especially if you are involved in a job that demands much physical energy or if the pain is intolerable.
Move from one place to another during the resting period, moving your body especially the shoulders clears the mucus from the lungs and improves breathing.
Hold a pillow against your chest as you cough. Breathing exercises; to keep your lungs fully inflated, take ten slow but deep breaths every hour to achieve clear lungs.

 

When to Visit a Doctor

Consult a GP if the pain worsens or does not improve within few weeks. The GP may administer stronger painkillers or rather refer you to a hospital for further treatment.
The following are symptom that indicates serious problems hence need to seek immediate medical care:

  • A cough covered with blood, yellow or green mucus
  • Increased pain in your tummy, chest or shoulder
  • If you experience shortness of breath
  • Fever (temperature of 38C, 100.4F, and above

Related Video On Broken Ribs

Treating Burns and Scalds

Overview

Burns and scalding can be extremely painful and even life-threatening. This is because of the heat and usually, a liquid or other very hot object clinging to the skin. In either case, these are to be treated in the same manner.

Burns and scalding can be extremely painful and even life-threatening.
Burns and scalding can be extremely painful and even life-threatening.

The difference between a burn and scalding is that dry heat can cause burns. Burns can of course, be not only painful, but cause the skin to peel, cause blistering on the skin and swelling. They can cause white and/or charred skin as well. For many, the pain that may accompany a burn may not relate closely to the severity of the burn. Often a slight burn can be quite painful while a severe burn may be relatively painless, leading the injured person to believe that the burn is less serious that it actually is.

Scalds, on the other hand, are caused by wet heat. Hot water or steam can cause scalding, such as accidentally spilled hot liquids like coffee.

Other hot liquids can be even more serious. In restaurants, oil at a temperature of nearly 400º F can cause extremely serious damage to a person, leave permanent scarring and even cause death.

 

Treatment for Burns and Scalds

Burns and scalds require immediate treatment. The person should be removed from the source of the burn. Lukewarm water running gently over the burned area for twenty minutes or so can not only reduce the damage but soothe the pain that can accompany the burn.

Many believe ice, etc. to soothe and stop the burn but ice and other commonly, misused applications such as butter or creams may only aggravate the burns by sticking to the affected areas.

Any jewelry or clothing around or on the burned area should be carefully removed. That includes diapers. However, any clothing that is sticking to the skin should be left in place and removed later on by a professional.

It is also important that the injured be kept warm, but if using a blanket, care must be taken that it does not touch the burned area. A clean plastic bag or Saran-type wrap placed over the burned area can be helpful. Painkillers may be given as well, if available.

If the injured suffers from burns around the face or eyes, it is preferable to have the victim sit up rather than to lie down. This action may help in the reduction of swelling.

Medical Attention

Serious burns or scalding call for the attention of physicians. Patients should go, or be taken to a hospital for any burns involving chemicals or electricity.

Any burns that appear to be extensive as well as deep, larger than the normal hand, may require the attention of medical professionals as well as burns showing white or charred skin. Burns on the hands, face, genitals, or other parts of the body that cause blisters need immediate medical attention.

Smoke inhalation is very dangerous, although some of its symptoms may not be immediately apparent. Signs that the injured may be suffering from smoke inhalation may come from coughing, complaining of a sore throat, facial burns and perhaps difficulty breathing.

Different Types of Burns

The medical profession assesses burns by determining the seriousness of the damage to the patient’s skin and the number of layers of skin affected. The skin has three layers: the epidermis or outer layer of skin. Just beneath that lies the dermis. The dermis contains the blood capillaries, sweat glands, hair follicles and nerve endings and beneath this is the subcutaneous fat (the subcutis) a deeper layer of fat and tissue.

Prevention of Burning and Scalding

Babies and young children are often the victims of burns and scalding. This is of course, because of their small size as well as their lack of understanding of the world around them and its dangers; they often find themselves involved in extremely hazardous behavior.

If a pot handle on the cooker is noticeable, a child may pull it to see what is contained inside the pot. This can naturally result in a serious injury from hot liquids, liquids that may damage a child for life.

Whenever possible, a child should never be allowed in the kitchen without the presence of an adult.

Parents should always personally test bath water, using an elbow before placing a child in the bath.

Matches, candles, and any lighters, etc. should always be kept out of the reach of children and they should never be given hot drinks.

 

Related Video On Burns and scalds

How To Treat Eye Injuries

Overview

Eye injuries are common and can occur in any setting.
Eye injuries are common and can occur in any setting.

It can be at home, work or at the sporting grounds. The common eye injuries are:

Blows to your eye – accidents such as being hit in the eye by an elbow, fist or even a ball.

Scratches – You can get scratched by branches of a tree or by your fingernail.

Foreign bodies– these are small substances that can get into your eyes such as grit, metal or wood.

Penetrating injuries – It is the injury that leads to oozing of blood such as from glass or nails when hammering.

Chemical burnsChemical substances gets in touch with your eye such as cleaning agents.

Exposure to radiation – The ultraviolet rays from the sunlight.

Injuries on the front of the eye or even minor injuries do not require any medical attention and should be over within 24 hours. If there is too much discomfort in the eye, you should try painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. You should not rub your eye, avoid contact lenses and apply any pressure until fully healed. If it is not better within 24 hours, you should speak to your GP.

Flushing your eye

If your eye gets into contact with grit or chemicals, flush it or wash it from time to time with plenty of clean water for about 10 minutes. If you have contact lenses, remember to remove them before your flush. If you have eye injuries, you can flush it in different ways. For example:

  • Sit and slant your head where your affected eye is on the lower side. You can do it in a sink or over a bath and use a glass and pour the water repeatedly across the eye from the nose.
  • If both eyes are affected, tilt the head back and keep it level. Pour the water repeatedly across both eyes.
  • If you can access a shower, use warm water on the forehead and let the water flow into your eyes while holding the affected one.
  • If you are on the farm, you can use a hose pipe and aim it in the affected eye. Ensure that it is a slow flow.

If your eye gets into contact with water, flush it and then visit the doctor immediately to get a check up because there can be remaining chemicals in the eye. You should seek the doctor if you have:

Severe Pain in the Eye

The following is what you might experience:

  • Decreased vision
  • Flashing spots around the eye
  • Visible blood in the eye
  • Irregular pupil
  • Pain when bright light if exposed
  • A deep cut on the eye
  • Eye sticking out of your socket

 

Related Video On Eye Injuries

Treating Neck Pain

Overview

Neck pain also known as a stiff neck is a common problem. After some days, the stiff neck will get better, and there are rare but severe signs. You can get neck pain if you sleep in an uncomfortable position, use your computer for long or strain your muscles at the gym while lifting. Sometimes stress and anxiety cause tension in the muscles around your neck which will lead to pain.

Neck pain also known as the stiff neck is a common problem
Neck pain also known as the stiff neck is a common problem

 

Managing Neck Pain at Home

Taking painkillers
If the neck pain is severe, you should take painkillers such as ibuprofen and paracetamol. You can also rub ibuprofen gel on the neck instead of taking tablets. You should always follow instructions that accompany the medication.

Use of hot water
Hold a bottle of hot water or a heat pack on your neck. It will reduce the pain and muscle spasms. Some prefer using cold water since they find it relieves the pain faster.

Sleep on a low and firm pillow
Whenever you have a stiff neck, you should use a low and firm pillow at night. A big pillow may force your neck to bend hence more pain.

Check your posture
When asleep avoid bad posture that will aggregate pain. Bad sleeping posture is mostly the cause of neck pains.

Avoid neck collars
Nobody is sure that neck collars actually relieve the pain. It’s better to keep your neck mobile for it to heal faster.

Avoid driving
You should not drive if you have a stiff neck. Whenever you are driving, turning your head can aggravate the pain. Whenever your neck is twisted, you can do neck exercises, like tilting your head carefully. Tilt your head down from one side to the other and from right to left. It will strengthen your neck and improve the movements.

How to Prevent Neck Pain

Good posture
Make sure any time you are sitting or standing you are in a good position. You should read more about what are the best postures for sitting or sitting in front of the PC.

Take regular breaks
When sitting at your desk, driving or in a place where your neck is in the same position, you should take regular breaks. Stretch your neck to avoid a stiff neck.

Relax your mind
If you feel stressed, you should relax your mind to help you ease the tension caused on your neck.

Avoid sleeping on your front
Whenever you sleep on your front, your head is not in line with your body. You should sleep with your head in line with the body.

Use one pillow and mattress firm
You should use one pillow because it is enough to help you keep your head in line with your body. Ensure the mattress is firm because a soft one will cause your neck to bend while you are sleeping.

Related Video On Neck Pain

Identifying Signs of Chest Pain

Overview

Chest pains are common ailments and can cause muscle pain that can lead to a heart attack. In a case of a chest pain, you should never ignore the symptoms. You should call and get an ambulance if you have the following signs:

  • Tight pain in the heart
    Chest pains are common ailments and can cause muscle pain that leads to a heart attack.
    Chest pains are common ailments and can cause muscle pain that leads to a heart attack.
  • Pain lasts for more than five minutes
  • Pain spreads to other areas such as the jaw, back or arms
  • Difficulties in breathing
  • Sweating
  • Feeling nauseous
  • Coughing blood

There are very many factors that can expose you to the risk of coronary heart disease which can be the cause of the chest pain. Some factors can lead to coronary diseases such as obesity, smoking, high blood pressure, and cholesterol or being diabetic. The chest pains are not always caused by a problem in the heart, but can be due to the symptoms of:

Angina
It is an ailment where there is no supply of blood in the muscles of the heart. If there is no supply to these muscles, the heart will have trouble pumping blood. Due to this, it can lead to chest pain.

Heart attack
This occurs when the blood supply to the heart or some parts of the heart is blocked. A heart attack can be due to smoking, obesity, and other factors. These conditions can lead to tight pain in your chest and spread out to other parts of your body.

At times the pain can go for up to 15 minutes and accompanied by sweating and vomiting. It is likely caused by a heart attack. You should call for an ambulance immediately. If you or your family member has the symptoms and have never diagnosed with heart disease, you should get medical assistance immediately.

Other Potential Causes of Chest Pain

There are other many ways you can suffer chest pains. Some of them include:

Shingles
It is a viral infection that affects the nerves and skin. It leads to painful rashes that will finally develop into blisters.

Mastitis
It is an infection that affects the breast that can cause pain and swelling. It is caused by an infection mostly when mothers breastfeed.

Acute Cholecystitis
It is the inflammation of the gallbladder which causes a sudden sharp pain on the upper right side of your tummy and spreads to the right shoulder.

Stomach ulcers
It is a break at the lining of your stomach which can lead to burning and  pain in the abdomen.

Pulmonary embolism
It is a situation where the blood vessels that carry the blood from the heart into the lungs become blocked. It leads to a sharp and stabbing chest pain which becomes worse when breathing or coughing.

Pericarditis
It is inflammation of the sac that surrounds the heart. It leads to a sharp pain and becomes worse whenever you are lying down.

 

Related Video On Chest Pain 

How To Treat Sprains and Strains

Overview

A strain or sprain is a relatively common injury which affects the ligaments or muscles. Most commonly, this type of injury is caused by changing speed or direction suddenly while playing sports, or sometimes by colliding with another person or object, or by having an awkward fall or landing.

A strain or sprain is a relatively common injury to the ligaments or muscles.
A strain or sprain is a relatively common injury to the ligaments or muscles.

 

 

 

Sprain Injuries

Sprains occur when the ligament has been torn, twisted or stretched, usually because an excessive amount of force has been applied to the joint. A ligament is a band of tissue which goes around a joint  and connects the bones together.

The most common areas of the body to suffer from sprains include the knees, wrists, thumbs, and ankles. There are several symptoms which indicate a sprain injury including:

  • Pain in the area of the affected joint
  • Being unable to bear weight on the joint or use it normally
  • Tenderness, swelling or bruising in the affected area – immediately after the injury there may be some swelling, however, any bruising may take several hours to appear or may not occur at all.

Strain Injuries

A strain happens when there is stretching or tearing in the muscle fibres, usually as a result of the affected muscle being stretched or forced to shorten and contract too quickly. Most commonly, muscle strains affect the back or the legs, specifically the back’s lower lumbar region and the hamstring muscles.

Some symptoms of strained muscles include:

  • Redness, bruising or swelling
  • Pain to the affected muscle even when it is at rest
  • Pain in the joint and muscle when it is used
  • Spasms in the muscle (when there are tight and painful contractions in the muscle)
  • Weakness or loss of function in the muscle

When Should You Get Medical Help For Sprains And Strains?

Although most sprain or strain injuries can easily be treated at home, there are some circumstances in which you should visit your doctor. Get medical help if:

  • You have severe pain
  • You are unable to bear any weight on the limb or whenever you try to use it, it gives way
  • The affected area appears crooked or has any bumps or lumps that cannot be explained
  • There is any coldness, numbness or discoloration around the affected area
  • If there has been no improvement after several days

A doctor should assess your symptoms if any of the above apply as you may be suffering from a severe sprain or strain or even a fracture.

How To Prevent Strains And Sprains

To guard against strains and sprains you should always:

  • Wear appropriate footwear
  • Warm up before exercising
  • Perform regular exercises for flexibility and strengthening of the muscles

 

How To Treat Strains And Sprains

Usually, you can treat a sprain or strain yourself by following the PRICE procedure i.e. Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.

If you are suffering from a sprain, you should begin moving the affected joint as soon as the pain has eased. On the other hand, you should immobilise a sprained muscle for several days so it can heal properly.

Related Video on Sprains and Strains

How To Treat Heat Exhaustion And Sunstroke

HEAT EXHAUSTION  

Symptoms:

  • Exhaustion; irritability;
  • Headache;
  • Weakness;
  • Frail, rapid pulse;
  • Deep breathing;
  • Cold, moist skin; and
  • Extreme perspiration.

Treatment

Sun Exhaustion
Sun Exhaustion
  1. Instruct the casualty to lay down in a cool, sheltered area or a well-ventilated area. Raise the casualty’s feet.
  2. Rub the legs toward the heart.
  3. Only if the casualty is conscious, offer cool water or a sports drink every 15 minutes until the casualty recovers.
  4. Use cautiousness when letting the casualty sit up, even if they are feeling better.

SUNBURN

  1. Treat for 1st or 2nd degree burns.
  2. Treat for medical shock if required.
  3. Cool the casualty as quickly as possible by placing cool, moist cloths or soaking in cool water.
  4. Offer the casualty liquids to drink.
  5. Get expert medical assistance immediately for serious cases.

SUNSTROKE (Heat Stroke)

Symptoms:

  • Very high body temperature;
  • Hot, sore, dehydrated skin;
  • Absence of sweat;
  • Fast pulse; and
  • Seizures; unconsciousness.

CAUTION

Sunstroke is a severe medical emergency.

TREATMENT

  1. Get expert medical assistance straightaway.
  2. Lower body temperature rapidly by placing casualty in a moderately filled container of cool water. Quickly sponge the casualty’s body until their temperature is condensed; then pat dry. If a container is not obtainable, wrap the casualty in cold, damp sheets in a well-ventilated area until their body temperature deceases.
  3. DO NOT offer stimulating drinks, such as soda, tea, or coffee.

Related Video On Sun Related Injuries

Ear Care And Treatment

Overview Of Foreign Objects In The Ear

How you get hold of objects embedded in your ears depends on what the items are and whether there’s any harm to the ear. The object may be serrated and jagged, causing damage. Or, it may have been in there for an extensive amount of time, therefore causing swelling and pain.

When To Phone The Doctor

  • Adults generally can tell fairly quickly if there is something in the ears, but children don’t always observe until they experience pain.
  • The longer an item is lodged in the ears, the trickier it is to remove. Always get medical assistance of you are uncertain.
    How you get hold of objects imbedded in your ears depends on what the items are and whether there's any harm to the ear
    How you get hold of objects embedded in your ears depends on what the items are and whether there’s any harm to the ear
  • Healthcare professionals have equipment to help them examine the ear passage and locate whatever it is that’s troubling the casualty.
  • Sometimes, swelling or irritation can make the casualty feel as if there is something stuck in the ear when there actually isn’t. Inserting anything in the ear can result in trauma.

Here are a few symptoms and signs of ear trauma or illness that has to be seen by a doctor:

Ear Object Removal – Do It Yourself Methods

If you know there’s an item stuck in the ear canal, here are some things you can attempt to get rid of it before you look for help.

Insects

  • The thought of an insect crawling in your ear is enough to give some people shivers right up the spine.
  • If you believe there is an insect in the ear canal, don’t put anything in your ear. If it’s prone to fight back, it might bite or sting your ear. As an alternative, encourage it to leave quietly.

Don’t Put The Following In Your Ear

  • Any liquid such as water.
  • Cotton pads.
  • Anything that is smaller than your elbow.
  • Make sure you only clean your ears on the exterior of the ear canal.

 Related Video On Foreign Objects

Treatment Steps For Puncture Wounds

Overview – What Are Puncture Wounds?

  • Puncture wounds are injuries which are caused by sharp items.
  • These wounds transmit grime and microorganisms deep into the tissues.
  • Puncture wounds Increase the risk of contamination.
  • Most wounds are negligible and can be treated at home.
  • Certain punctures are made by a doctor for the treatment of diseases.
  • Even if the wound is sealed, puncture wounds need first aid.

 Who Are At Risk Of Punctures Wounds?

  • Health experts.
  • Drug Addicts.

 What Are The Causes Of Puncture Wounds?

Puncture wound can be caused by:

  • Nails if someone scratches you.
  • Needles either by a medical professional or self-administered injections.
  • Teeth wounds if you get bitten.
  • Objects such as bullets.
  • Animals, particularly pets.

 Symptoms Of Puncture Wounds

Puncture wounds are injuries which are caused by sharp items
Puncture wounds are injuries which are caused by sharp items

Treatment

  • Discontinue the bleeding by applying moderate force on the wound.
  • Clean the wound.
  • Try to get rid of embedded fragments carefully.
  • Bathe the wound in warm water for about 15 minutes.
  • Bathe the wound at least 2 – 3 per day.
  • Dry the region softly.
  • Put an antibiotic cream on the wound.
  • Apply a dressing.
  • If the dressing needs to be changed, remove cautiously.
  • If the dressing sticks to the body, use lukewarm water to relax it.
  • Pat dry and place a new dressing on the wound.
  • Change the bandage frequently.
  • Try to maintain the wound above the level of your heart, for the first day.
  • Elevating the wound helps it heal quicker.
  • Relax for at least one week to help with the healing process.
  • Examine for signs of infection.
  • Take a Tetanus Toxoid vaccination if not taken within the last 5 years.

 Consult a Doctor To Prevent Any Of The Following:

  • Bites from an animal or human.
  • High fever.
  • Blood loss.
  • Deteriorating Pain.
  • Lack of feeling.
  • Inflammation.
  • Redness.
  • Discharge of pus.
  • Bad odor.

 Prevention Of Puncture Wounds

  • Health experts should wear gloves whenever working with wounds.
  • Be cautious while using needles or other sharp items.
  • Exercise cautiousness while touching pets.

Related Video On Puncture Wounds